This summer saw a new event pop up. The Ozark Enduro Lite Series set its sights on creating an approachable and inclusive event aimed at introducing the sport of Enduro mountain bike racing to new people. Created by Arkansas Race Solutions, the team that produced the Bentonville Bike Fest Enduro and Bentonville Bike Fest cross-country eliminator races, this race series features shorter stages, lower overall mileage, and less difficult terrain than your average Enduro race.
“Our goal is to lower barriers and create inviting places for folks that are new to the sport to have fun, compete and feel more engaged in the community,” Says Terry Coddington, one of the race directors. “Arkansas Race Solutions is committed to providing a positive shared experience. Enduro is different from many other biking disciplines and other sports in general. In Enduro, you compete alongside your friends, racing your stage and then regrouping to ride the transitions to the next stage. Folks can ride together for the majority of the experience.”
In addition to having a relatively low entry fee of $45, some notables that set this race apart are the number of women and first-time Enduro racers participating. 33% of the participants in the first event were female and 51% of overall participants were racing their first Enduro. Racers from ages 11 and up can compete in age categories and there is even a category for ride-along buddies. Parents, friends, and supporters can ride all of the stages and transfers with their racers for only $10. The “open” category exists for folks who want to compete overall without age category placement and is a great spot for more experienced riders to be more competitive with one another.
“I learned a lot during the race including how to hold speed on flatter trails and how to switch it up on the climbs,” says Kylie Winbigler, “It took me out of my comfort zone and was so much fun to do with the University of Arkansas Cycling Club.”
The next race in the series happens at Lake Atalanta in Rogers on Sunday, July 23 and the final installment for the season is Sunday, August 13 at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve in Bentonville. You can check out the Ozark Enduro Lite website for more information and be sure to follow them on social media @ozarkendurolite.